It’s official… winter is officially here! Some love it, but plenty of us hate it and that goes for your roof as well. Winter brings rain, high winds, ice and potentially snow. All things which roofs really don’t like! As such it’s vitally important that your roof receives a bit of TLC before winter really begins to bite. If you fail to look after your roof then don’t be surprised when you end up with a problem… normally right when you need it least!
Winter is our busiest time for emergency call outs but by following these simple roof maintenance tips you can be confident your roof will shrug off the worst of a British winter.
Clean your Gutters
This is probably our number one tip! Gutters are a vital component of your roof and essential for them to work effectively. Water is the number one enemy for your roof and well-designed gutters allow rainfall to run away quickly and effectively. If your gutters are clogged with leaves (especially problematic during the Autumn and early winter) then rainwater can’t be carried away. This results in it backing up and potentially pooling on your roof (in the case of flat roofs). This standing water can really start to damage your flat roof. In the case of pitched roofs, gutters that aren’t clear and overflow can cause damage to the fabric of your building and damage to fascia boards. Clearing your gutters and also making sure that they are in good working order will potentially save you a ton of grief along with expensive repairs.
Trim those Trees
Have you got trees near your property? If so, you’ll want to get out there and check whether or not branches are overhanging your property. Unsurprisingly, trees do a lot of growing over the summer resulting in branches overhanging your property where previously there where none. Equally important is to inspect for dead branches and limbs. With high winds, the usual time for these to fail is over the winter months. You’d be amazed at the damage even a relatively modest size branch can cause if it falls on your roof. The answer? Make sure any overhanging branches are cut back from your property.
Check for Damage
When was your roof last inspected? Odds are you have had your oil or gas boiler serviced annually. Your roof however…! The problem is that when a roof leaks the damage can be extensive. And that damage happens seriously quickly. It’s a bit all or nothing with roofs! If you’ve got easy access to your roof and are confident looking it over yourself then do so. Otherwise undertake a visual inspection from the ground or better yet get a roofer in to undertake an inspection. A roofer knows the likely weak points of your roof and will be able to properly check for slipped tiles, damaged felt, flashing that has lifted, rotted fascia boards and of course gutters. It’s well worth the money as a roof inspection bill will be significantly less than the cost of undertaking any repairs AFTER water has got into your property.
Insulation and your Attic
On a slightly different note, it’s worth getting up into your attic to check for any problems you can see INSIDE your roof space. Look for condensation which can signify an inadequate lack of ventilation. This is a great time to check our your roof void insulation as well. Energy bills aren’t getting any cheaper and if your roof insulation hasn’t been replaced in a while then you are probably losing an extensive amount of heat through your roof. Replacing your roof insulation with modern insulation materials could save you some significant cash on your energy bills as well as doing your bit to help the environment.
And if the worse happens?
If, despite your best efforts, winter does manage to damage your roof it’s vitally important you don’t delay calling out a roofer to repair any damage. The smallest of leaks can quickly build and what might have been a simple problem to fix could turn into months of renovation work (believe us, we’ve seen this happen plenty of times). Any sign of water in your property or traces of damp marks on ceilings should be investigated urgently. What might appear to be modest amounts of water could actually be hiding a much larger leak that you would think.
ER Group offer an extensive range of roofing services. Our fully qualified and insured team work across London. Our clients appreciate the honest advice and high standards we operate to. If you’d like any advice on a roof problem or want to book a roof inspection then please contact us.